The Rhetorical Analysis Of Polynices And Eteocles Antigone
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The literal meaning of the word antithesis is ‘the exact opposite’. It is a type of rhetorical device used to put two opposite ideas together. Human law versus the divine law, madness versus logic, and love versus hate are some prevalent themes used in the play Antigone. The play opens when Polynices and Eteocles have already killed each other. This puts Creon back to the throne. Creon being an impartial king punishes Polynices by not giving him a burial and leaving his body to be fed by the animals. Creon does this because he is an impartial king who thinks that the blood cannot be put above the state. According to him, anything is the truth if it is written or is part of the law. This brings the theme of human law into action. When he punishes Polynices and denies him a burial his hate for the people who defy the state even when the person is the kings own nephew. When Creon punishes Antigone severely and does not listens to the blind prophet Tiresias, Creon’s excessive pride (hamartia) is visible to the audience. According to Aristotle, an error in the character itself causes the tragedy in the play, in the play Antigone the stubbornness of Antigone led to her physical death and in the case of Creon his pride led to his emotional death. Sophocles thus uses the antithetical themes to create the play Antigone.
The theme of human law versus the divine law can be considered as a dominating antithesis in the play. There is a conflict the law of the state which Creon follows